When planning your dream garden, there’s a lot to think about. What kind of plants and flowers you want to feature in your outdoor space? Do you have children or pets to consider? What about if you have a shared garden? Don’t worry. There are a number of solutions for both small and large gardens and what’s more, green solutions are becoming more and more popular.
What kind of paving?
To be as environmentally friendly as possible, you might consider avoiding wooden decking. As popular as it is, a lot of wood wastage goes into creating the perfect deck and it corrodes over time, meaning it needs constant maintenance. When it comes to paving, concrete slabs might be cheap, but making cement produces carbon monoxide so avoid this too, no matter how tempting the price tag is.
Instead, try hempcrete — a combination of hemp hurds and lime commonly used in eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable construction. As it’s a plant product, it absorbs carbon monoxide as it grows, retaining carbon and releasing oxygen, but it still has the insulating properties of concrete.
Green lighting solutions
With fossil fuels becoming more and more expensive, LED lighting is becoming more popular, LED lights turn much of their energy directly into light, and they contain no harmful chemicals such as mercury or lead. They’re also free from UV or IR rays which have a negative effect on the environment.
Green garden furniture
To be environmentally sustainable and still be comfortable in your garden, garden furniture must be made from fully recyclable materials. If you’re considering wooden garden furniture, opt for a hardwearing wood that doesn’t rot like teak. Teak forests are conserved by the Indonesian government, so this is great choice if you want to increase your green credentials.
Image by Irene Grassi (sun, sand & sea), used under Creative Commons license
Eco friendly plants
Choose ‘kind to the atmosphere’, leafy green plants to share your patio, like Devils Ivy, which keeps on growing and growing despite no maintenance. It also acts as a natural anti-pollutant against benzene and formaldehyde. For something prettier, opt for ‘bee friendly’ plants such as poppies, sunflowers and lavender to bring as many pollen growing species as possible to your garden.
Why not grow your own herbs in some upcycled planters, using old odds and ends from around your home? You can pay a lot of money for eco planters, made from plastics which are completely biodegradable, but it’s actually incredibly easy to do it yourself on a budget. Use old newspapers to make decomposable pots to plant your herb garden. Simply use a wine or juice bottle as a guide, roll your newspaper around to create a template and folder over the bottom.
But don’t stop there, there are a range of eco-friendly accessories on the market, tailor made to supplement your sustainable space. If you’re a keen gardener you can even pick up fair trade wellies to keep you dry whilst taking care of your outdoor space.